For years, service providers could see their competitors coming head on. For example CLECs and VoIP providers are pretty easy to spot and entrenched telecom providers worldwide have adopted different strategies to battle these new entrants.
But that was the easy part of the game. After all, playing in your home stadium is often easier than playing on the road.
But this "on the road" analogy is perfectly accurate in describing what service providers will be dealing with as they enter new markets and come up against companies like Yahoo, Microsoft
Recently I had a chance to see a demo of technology from Openwave Systems
which helps service providers compete more effectively with the traditional web-based competitors.
I must say that I was beyond impressed with the demo I saw of a product named Openwave Mobile Client Suite
, a set of products which help turn service providers into internet companies.
I also had a chance to see some of the company's network-based technology, the Openwave Rich Mail Solution
, which does what Microsoft Exchange Server and Outlook clients do for the typical enterprise. The application is based on AJAX which means response times are more like software than web pages.
The look of the UI is impressive and not something you might expect your typical service provider to code themselves.
For example there are contextual menus which pop on a right-click, e-mail preview, drag-and-drop, voicemail/VoIP integration and more.